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  1. #1

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    question about Mamiya 645 1000 S system

    So, I have a chance to buy a Mamiya 645 1000S system. I got a chance to play with it last night, and I believe I am smitten. The body and lenses look to be immaculate. The standard lens is *the* one to have with this camera: the 80mm 1.9. It also comes with a wide angle lens (55mm 2.8), 2 film loaders (120/220), a complete close-up filter set, a Hoya circular polarizer and a couple other filters. There was also a prism viewfinder attachment, a camera grip, and an older but apparently functional Sunpak pro flash with associated bracket and cables. Plus, the very groovy steel case. Total package: $660.

    So, after playing with it all and running a test roll, I discovered the problem and I donít know how much it could cost to fix it. I really prefer using the prism viewfinder, so switching that with the waist level one was the first thing I did. But the mirror locks up when the shutter goes off. The meter was functional, bright viewing screen, just mirror lockup, regardless of settings. My husband talked to a Mamiya rep who said it sounded like to be a short in the prism viewfinder. I guess I can find another prism viewfinder, but by themselves I saw them listed for a couple hundred dollars..... So, at the moment I'm not sure what to do.

    Since none of the pictures turned out on the roll I ran last night because of the lockup, I will be able to test it again just using the waist level viewfinder tonight or this weekend. We know the seller and thereís no pressure or hard sell involved here Ė he just wants what he paid for it (although he didnít know the prism was non-functional).

    I guess my (long and rambling) point is: is the system still worth the money minus the prism finder? Itís an important feature to me, just personal preference. Does anyone have experience with any repair places for something like that?

    I could use some feedback and input.

  2. #2
    donbga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terri
    So, I have a chance to buy a Mamiya 645 1000S system. I got a chance to play with it last night, and I believe I am smitten. The body and lenses look to be immaculate. The standard lens is *the* one to have with this camera: the 80mm 1.9. It also comes with a wide angle lens (55mm 2.8), 2 film loaders (120/220), a complete close-up filter set, a Hoya circular polarizer and a couple other filters. There was also a prism viewfinder attachment, a camera grip, and an older but apparently functional Sunpak pro flash with associated bracket and cables. Plus, the very groovy steel case. Total package: $660.

    So, after playing with it all and running a test roll, I discovered the problem and I donít know how much it could cost to fix it. I really prefer using the prism viewfinder, so switching that with the waist level one was the first thing I did. But the mirror locks up when the shutter goes off. The meter was functional, bright viewing screen, just mirror lockup, regardless of settings. My husband talked to a Mamiya rep who said it sounded like to be a short in the prism viewfinder. I guess I can find another prism viewfinder, but by themselves I saw them listed for a couple hundred dollars..... So, at the moment I'm not sure what to do.

    Since none of the pictures turned out on the roll I ran last night because of the lockup, I will be able to test it again just using the waist level viewfinder tonight or this weekend. We know the seller and thereís no pressure or hard sell involved here Ė he just wants what he paid for it (although he didnít know the prism was non-functional).

    I guess my (long and rambling) point is: is the system still worth the money minus the prism finder? Itís an important feature to me, just personal preference. Does anyone have experience with any repair places for something like that?

    I could use some feedback and input.
    Look for another camera. Don't waste your money and time on a camera that needs repair from the get go.
    Don Bryant

  3. #3
    David Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donbga
    Look for another camera. Don't waste your money and time on a camera that needs repair from the get go.
    Ditto. These cameras are not rare. They are plentiful and inexpensive (relatively).

    Good luck.

    David
    David
    Taking pictures is easy. Making photographs is hard.

    http://www.behance.net/silverdarkroom
    http://silverdarkroom.wordpress.com

  4. #4
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    I would probably have to say pass on this one as well, the 1000s cameras are a dime a dozen right now, they are a great system, but you should be able to pick one up pretty easy, a repair would probably exceed what the prisim finder is worth. I actually stopped using my prisim 99% of the time and use the waist level finder far more often..

    Good luck.

    Dave

  5. #5
    reellis67's Avatar
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    The mirror will lock up if the battery is weak, but it could be an electrical problem as well. I would strongly suggest going through KEH - an APUG sponsor - for more reliable gear. I got an entire kit for the price you are talking about - 1 body, 55, 80, 150, and 210mm lenses, left hand grip, prism finder, rangefinder and standard screens, hoods, speed winder, and two 120 inserts. KEH is easy to deal with, they have a large inventory, and perhaps most importantly, they offer a return period and telephone support.

    I think you can do better than what you found there if you spend a bit of time searching about.

    - Randy

  6. #6

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    I used that model for quite a while as it is an older camera...and def. not worth that price. Buy a Super or Pro body (its much lighter also) which I did and am happy with it. I'm sure you can find one for just a couple hundred bucks. I was selling mine for $350 but decided to keep it along with my RZ.

  7. #7

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    Thanks, guys. I was kind of thinking along those lines, but you know how it is when it's so purty and it's right there in your hands.....

    Randy, a battery was the first thing I thought of, too - but my husband said the guy put in a fresh one before handing it over for the test.

    okay..... I guess the upside to this is now I have officially been bitten by the MF bug. I love how that 645 felt and it was SO easy to use. Anything larger than 645 isn't practical for me, weight-wise.

    So, the hunt officially begins again!

    :cries a single tear:

    I've had nothing but good experiences with KEH, as well.

  8. #8
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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    I agree that a Super or Pro is a better camera to use, they have interchangable backs and are newer so they are likely to last longer. Also, the price really isn't that great. The camera, prism, lens, etc should be in the ballpark of $300 and the 55mm lens maybe $100 to $150. That together with the problems, I would stay away from it.

  9. #9
    mjs
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    I have a similar camera to yours, a 645j, which finally died after many years of use. It was cheaper (much, MUCH cheaper) to simply buy another 645 body than to have the old one even looked at by Mamiya service. That said, consider a Pro body. I used one for a while (weddings) and with the motorized hand grip I absolutely fell in love with it. Not enough to buy one (at pre-digital prices,) but using it made for very happy.

  10. #10
    snegron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reellis67
    The mirror will lock up if the battery is weak, but it could be an electrical problem as well. I would strongly suggest going through KEH - an APUG sponsor - for more reliable gear. I got an entire kit for the price you are talking about - 1 body, 55, 80, 150, and 210mm lenses, left hand grip, prism finder, rangefinder and standard screens, hoods, speed winder, and two 120 inserts. KEH is easy to deal with, they have a large inventory, and perhaps most importantly, they offer a return period and telephone support.

    I think you can do better than what you found there if you spend a bit of time searching about.

    - Randy

    I agree with the comments about KEH. Have you considered getting a newer Mamiya 645E? It's not a bad MF starter camera. It has a fixed, non-interchangeable eye level viewfinder and you can only change the film insert instead of the enire back, but it meters well, comes with a decent lens, and is a great starter camera. I would stay away from the rapid winder though, it is way too troublesome and locks the camera. I have seen the 645E on KEH with lens and insert in LN condition for real bargain prices.

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